30 September 2011

Kingfisher Pole Vaults to Ordfordness

The great majority of Kingfishers breeding in the UK are resident. However, the kingfisher that winters in your patch may have known other countries in its life, and that's what this story shows...
Last Monday we had news from Mike Marsh of what seems to be the first Polish ringed Kingfisher ever controlled in the UK, Mike said:
At Orfordness, Suffolk we catch a small number (up to 8) Kingfishers each year, usually in the autumn. We have assumed that these have been dispersing juveniles of fairly local origin. How wrong could we be ?
On Sunday Sep.25th we controlled one wearing a Polish ring – YN16870 !

From the on-line recovery totals this appears to be the first Kingfisher from Poland to be caught in the UK. Previously the most easterly Kingfishers recovered in the UK has been from Germany (5 from there). The distance moved by this bird will almost certainly be over 1000km which will be even further than the remarkable recovery of the BTO-ringed Kingfisher that went from Wales to Spain!

Without a doubt this will be one of the longest distance runners among the Kingfishers in the ringing database and we can't wait to hear from the Polish Scheme about the ringing details.

While we wait for this record to be processed, you can see a map showing the 4 longest distance runner Kingfishers in the ringing database so far:

In 4th position a bird ringed in Aken, Kothen (Germany) as a pullus in 2008 was controlled in Saltfleet Haven (Lincolnshire) the same year
In 3rd position a bird ringed in Templin-Knehden (Germany) as a pullus in 1998 was controlled near Sturry (Kent) the same year
In 2nd position a bird ringed in Horsham (Sussex) as young in June 2005 was controlled in Saint-Gaudens (France) in August the same year
On top of the marks is a bird ringed in Marloes (Pembrokshire) as young in Aug 1993 was controlled in Irun (Spain) in Sep the same year (in yellow)

View Kingfishers in a larger map

To prove the veracity of this story please meet the Polish Kingfisher itself!
Thanks to Mike Marsh for sharing the story and to David Crawshaw for supplying the photograph (they had not taken the ring off - this is a sequence of photos).

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